What is the best bubble juice?Edit
The most frequently asked question by new bubblers (and many experienced bubbleheads) is "what is the best bubble juice?" I have often asked that question myself. I used to ask it a lot more often than I do now.
The quick answer is that there is no "best" bubble juice. Whether you are going to be mixing up your own bubble juice or buying your bubble juice, you will need to try a few types of bubble juice that are known to be effective and see what you like the best.
You should repeat the process every once in a while as your preferences may change -- especially if your equipment changes. You should also repeat your bubble juice trials under different conditions. If you try a few types of bubble juice on a cool, humid day the results are likely to be quite different from what you will see on a warm dry day.
You may find that you like a particular juice for some conditions but another juice for other conditions. It is pretty common for people's preference to change over time. My current favorite juice was not a favorite last year. And my favorite next year might be something new or something old that simply suits me better.
What Bubble Juice Should I Try?Edit
The first thing that you need to decide is whether you are going to make your bubble juice or buy it and whether you want to make giant bubble or small/medium-sized bubbles.
Non-Giant - Commercial OptionsEdit
There are many commercial options for non-giant bubbles (up to two feet in diameter or so) but fewer for giant bubbles. There is a huge range of quality amongst the commercial bubble solutions--and the quality may vary from year-to-year as some brands reformulate (for better-or-worse) from time to time.
Giant Bubbles - Commercial OptionsEdit
Most of the bubble juice that you will find in stores is designed for non-giant bubbles. I have seen Bubble Thing Giant Bubble Mix in a few toy stores over the years but not often. If you are looking to create giant bubbles, you will probably need to order your bubble juice (it can be ordered over the Internet) or make your own.
There are several popular commercial mixes. You may want to try a few and see what you personally like. Bubble Thing Giant Bubble Mix and the (new as of 2013) Uncle Bubble ultra bubble concentrate both have good reputations. There are also people happy with the Dip Stix giant bubble mix, Beeboo and Cricket Hill. Mention of these products should not be taken as an endorsement. You can find people's opinions about these mixes on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group.
Giant and Non-Giant - Homemade OptionsEdit
On this web site, you will find a large number of recipes . All of these recipes have been successfully used to create giant bubbles. If you were to try them all, you will like some more than others. If you are looking for the best, you should try at least a few different recipes.
Different Polymers. I recommend that you pick recipes that use different polymer types. Some people "bond" with PEO-based juice more than with guar or HEC-based juice. Others may prefer guar or HEC-based juice with the same equipment and same conditions.
My recommendation is (if you can find the polymers) to try a reliable PEO-based recipe (such as Mike's Gooey Mix), the basic (or quick-mix) guar-based recipe and an HEC-based recipe. If you have a strong preference, go with it. The key to making great bubbles is having fun and no one knows which great recipe will be your preference.
Guar gum is generally easy to find locally. If you are not in an English-speaking country, it might have another name. If you have good detergent available, the guar gum-based recipe is a good place to start while you try to hunt down HEC or PEO. You may even end up preferring it to other recipes.
The Long AnswerEdit
Why isn't there simply a BEST juice?
One visitor wrote: "Everyone has a different definition of the BEST bubble. There is no actual BEST juice because what one person defines as the BEST bubble may not align with how another person defines the BEST bubble."